Top-10 oldest new cars you can buy

Although most models are treated to a thorough refresh every few years, there are cars that haven’t been treated to a substantial update since they first went on sale.

Just because they aren’t the latest and greatest though, doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. There are some advantages to buying something that’s been around a while. For one, the car maker would have worked out all of the model’s foibles, but also with a long production cycle there should be a good supply of parts. With this in mind we scoured the new car price lists to find the ten best oldest models you can buy now.

1.Land Rover Defender

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With production ceasing in the UK this year, the Defender just makes our cut. Although it has changed substantially over the decades, it’s visually, conceptually and philosophically close to the 90 and 110 it replaced in 1984. The pick-up version even shares a component with the 1948 version.

It’s crude and noisy by modern standards, but it’s the epitome of ruggedness, strength and capability. To acknowledge the car’s passing, Land Rover launched three special editions priced from £27,800 which will be available to buy from August – the last chance you’ll get to buy a current Defender in England. Although rumours are, there is an all-new Defender coming next year.

Launched in 1984.

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Lotus Elise Race 250 is the fastest racing Elise yet produced

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This is the new Lotus Elise Race 250, the fastest competition-eligible version of Lotus’s popular sports car yet produced.

Equipped with a 243bhp version of the Elise’s 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine, the Race 250 produces 184lb ft of torque and is said to be 0.5sec quicker than the previous Elise Cup 220 R around the Hethel test track.

The car’s 1min 33.5sec lap is also the fastest time recorded for any racing Elise at the brand’s circuit.

Central to the Elise Race 250’s pace is its lightweight construction. Its aluminium chassis tips the scales at just 68kg and is joined by a host of featherweight components that ensure overall kerb weight is kept to a minimum.

Such are the effects of this focus that the car maker says the Race 250 weighs in at under 900kg when equipped with the optional Carbon Aero Pack, making the model at least 31kg lighter than the road-going 1.8-litre Elise Cup 250.

To cater for the demands of circuit driving and racing, the car’s chassis features an adjustable front anti-roll bar, Nitron adjustable dampers and Eibach coaxial springs mounted to double wishbone suspension.

Twin-piston front brake calipers are supplied by AP Racing, while Brembo supplies the single-piston rears. Around these sit forged alloy wheels of 16 and 17in diameters, wrapped in Yokohama A048 semi-slick rubber.

The Elise Race 250 is on sale now, priced from £53,500. Its arrival coincides with the passing of 50 years since Lotus founder Colin Chapman moved his company to the current Hethel base in Norfolk.